HO CHI MINH CITY, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam's southern region grew nearly 1.7 million hectares of summer-autumn rice which are estimated to churn out more than 9.5 million tons in the ongoing crop, up 279,700 tons from the previous crop.
Specifically, the Mekong Delta, Vietnam's rice hub, grew nearly 1.6 million hectares of summer-autumn rice, down 12,600 hectares from the previous crop, but its combined output is estimated to increase 251,700 tons to 9 million tons, according to the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The southern region plans to grow 987,000 hectares of autumn-winter crop, expecting a total output of 5.1 million tons of rice.
The Mekong Delta Rice Research Institute is intensifying production of high-quality rice varieties to supply them to seven Mekong Delta provinces.
Vietnam exported nearly 3.6 million tons of rice worth over 1.8 billion U.S. dollars in the first half of this year, up 12.5 percent in volume, and up 42 percent in value against the same period last year, said the ministry.
Vietnam, which shipped abroad roughly 5.9 million tons of rice worth nearly 2.7 billion U.S. dollars last year, mainly to China and the Philippines, plans to export 6.5 million tons of rice, including higher volumes of such high-grade rice as Japonica, fragrant rice and sticky rice, this year.